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All Points North #51: Philippine nurses swallow a bitter pill in Finland

Some nurses are university graduates whose qualifications can land good positions in other parts of Europe, but that is not always the case in Finland.

Video: All Points North #51
Video: Yle News

Nurses recruited from the Philippines to work in Finland relocate at substantial personal cost but they may not always understand what they've signed up for, according to a recent Yle probe.

Some Filipino nurses hoping to practice their profession in Finland don't have a clear insight into the accreditation system in Finland, Anndra Dumo, a Filipino nurse in Finland told APN.

Very often they are university graduates whose qualifications can earn them good positions in other parts of Europe, but that is not always the case in Finland, which very often requires qualified nursing professionals to go back to school and earn Finnish practical nursing degrees before they can join the labour force.

Some nurses have ended up paying middlemen exorbitant fees or signing Finnish-language employment contracts that they do not completely understand in order to join the Finnish work market.

Nursing shortage set to worsen

Meanwhile there are a few "rotten potatoes" among Finnish private health care providers who may be willing to pay nurses a lower salary because their qualifications are not recognised in Finland, according to Päivi Kantanen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Lauri Koponen from the Finnish Association of Private Care Providers, said that there are over 1,000 private healthcare providers in Finland facing a shortage of qualified nursing professionals. He added that Finland would likely need more than 100,000 workers in the sector in the decades ahead given the country's ageing population and declining birth rate.

If you have any questions, or would like to share something on your mind, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter account, or at yle.news@yle.fi.

The All Points North podcast is a weekly look at what's going on in Finland. Subscribe via iTunes (and leave a review!), listen on Spotify and Yle Areena or find it on your favourite podcatching app or via our RSS feed.

This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Mark B. Odom. The producer was Pamela Kaskinen and the sound engineer was Pasi Ilkka.

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